A new report from a group of journalists and researchers says that hundreds of civilians have died during airstrikes by the U.S. and other nations fighting the Islamic State, a marked contrast to the Pentagon’s official admission of just two civilian deaths.
The report, from the nonprofit group Airwars, which tracks coalition airstrikes on Iraq and Syria, says that it has documented between 459 and 591 civilian deaths in 52 credible incidents. In one of the worst cases, in Al Bab, Syria, a U.S. strike on a local Islamic State headquarters being used as a jail killed up to 58 non-combatants, including women and teenagers.
Next Saturday marks the first anniversary of the United States’ bombing campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Over the past year, a U.S.-led coalition including Canada, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and other European and Gulf states has carried out over 5,800 airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria.
Airwars notes that the coalition officially estimates that between 10,000 and 13,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.